There’s a game I play, sometimes, when I wander around campus. You’ve probably played it too. My version of ‘let’s imagine’ always seems to end up focussed on the physical fabric of the university. How I’d make it look. What buildings I’d build. Articulations with the larger city. So let’s imagine.
Carleton has an enormous hole in its campus, overlooking one of the prettiest locations in the city, Dow’s Lake. Here’s the map:
See all that empty grey area above the words ‘Carleton University’? Gravelled parking lot, snow dump in the winter. And that’s it. Here’s an aerial photo:
I’d love to fill that with a ginormous building that fronts onto Dow’s Lake. This building would be a kind of studio space for every national, regional, and local museum in the Ottawa area. Every single one of these institutions can show but a fraction of their collection. So, I’d love to build a space where materials can be rotated in, so that they are available for research, teaching, and the public. A giant living lab for our national collections. Since the collections span every department and faculty we have, I see no reason why this couldn’t break down silos and barriers across disciplines, in our teaching. I’d have a big ol’ international design competition, make the thing a jewel, too.
Apparently, our campus master plan imagines this as a ‘North Campus’, filled with lots of different buildings. Sounds good. Can we make one of them be the Carleton Musea?
…while I’m at it, I’d like a pony, too.
(featured image, Michelle Chiu, Disney Concert Hall, unsplash.com)